Sunday, May 24, 2015

Countering The Coup

Ken O’Brien

Let us understand a fundamental notion of Parliamentary procedure.

That notion is the motion to rescind.

A motion to rescind takes a prior vote on a motion and makes it as though the vote had never occurred. The motion to rescind can take place at any time and applies to all but a few, limited cases.

Let us apply that notion to the current proposal to restructure the Middle/High School. 

On June 30th the town will be holding an election that could potentially alter the balance of power on the School Committee.

Both the Chair and Vice-Chair of the committee are not seeking reelection.

In reviewing the proposed Restructuring Plan it is clear that it is a last minute creation. The opening transmittal letter is dated May 10th, only two weeks ago.

In preparing to vote on two new members of the School Committee it is incumbent upon the citizens of Southbridge to get the candidates to clearly and unequivocally state their position on this restructuring plan. Even if they favor the idea of two principals at the Middle/High School, it does not mean that they favor this plan, the haste with which it has been compiled or the uncertain budgetary impacts that it would entail.

In voting for new members of the School Committee the citizens of this town should only give their support to those who will support a vote to rescind the plan even if it is approved by the current committee, as all the tea leaves indicate that it will be.

Such an action would remove all demands for the termination of any serving personnel because the authority granted to implement such terminations would cease to exist. Indeed, a motion to rescind would make it as though the authority to undertake such action would never have existed.

In so doing the committee would be in a position to undertake the issue in a deliberate manner in concert with its search for a permanent Superintendent for the schools.


  1. We Need A ChangeMay 24, 2015 at 4:10 PM

    The time has come for new people, with new ideas and fresh perspectives, to make informed, consistent and fair changes in our schools for all our kids. We need to get back to our ABC's: Accountabilty, Best Practices and Communication. These must become the guiding principles in the leadership of this School District. Until they are better put into practice, our School District will not flourish and re-gain the trust, confidence and respect it deserves.

  2. Ms. McLoughlin, past PTA vice president and president and the parent of 12-year-old twins, said the present school board appears to lack focus. She said she wants "professionalism restored" in the way members conduct themselves, dress, act and address the audience.

    Ms. Donovan, an assessor, agreed there appears to be a lack of professionalism from the School Committee, and she said officials have to be careful not to exude "a bully culture" toward people who want to get involved.

  3. Just a note. This post was lost due to a computer error and as a result the above comments had to be re-posted. The times are not accurate.

  4. Voice your concernsMay 25, 2015 at 8:57 AM

    The Southbridge community should be aware of the following: there is no documentation in the 88 pages of the restructuring plan where it breaks down the unemployment costs for all those individuals losing their jobs. The individuals include Assistant Principals, that in two years have made an impact on behaviors and consistency when allowed by Central Office to do so. The Athletic Director that has poured her heart and soul into making athletics something Southbridge can be proud of. A Principal who has attended all activities involving her students, supported staff and tried to make a difference in such a short period of time. Let us not forget the ISS supervisor who has worked for the school district for 9 plus years (longer than any administrator), developing discipline, consistency and fostering positive relationships with students while holding them accountable for their actions. But, none of that was documented in the restructuring plan. It is imperative for the Southbridge community to voice their concerns for this proposed plan on Tuesday and Wednesday night.

    1. Are you kidding? Assistant Principals that made an impact on behaviors, will you come out from under your rock and put your glasses on. Gee did ya miss the report of the VP that assaulted a 14yr old? Oh what about all the fights that people complain about? Like the two girls who had at it, not even three weeks ago. And in the words of the not so wonderful Mr. Page "The Bad Characters" up there swearing at teachers and disrupting classes. Now that is a wonderful job. A Principal who attended all actives, hummm I have some choice word about that one but the page monitor won't post it. Is not the Athletic Director also a teacher? Did someone tell her teaching job is on the line? I hope so... Would that be the same ISS who has been playing in the sandbox? Who is NOT A LICENSED TEACHER. So you post only makes me conclude one thing, you must be best buds with these fine up standing individuals. Because I have certainly not heard one parent with a child up at that speak so fondly of any person you have referenced.

    2. Voice your concernsMay 25, 2015 at 8:07 PM

      And your post makes me conclude that you don't have a clear picture of what goes on in that school. Clearly hiring new staff will make everything better. Oh, that's right... Many of the staff are new. Before you make a decision you may want to hear all sides of the restructuring fiasco.


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